Canada’s unions release migrant worker video to mark Human Rights Day

December 9, 2016

To mark Human Rights Day, Canada’s unions released a new video to raise awareness of the human rights issues faced by migrant workers in our country.

The video tells the story of an agricultural worker who must leave her home and family behind to work long hours in isolated and dangerous conditions – a situation faced by many migrants entering through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). It asks Canadians to take a minute to think about the migrant workers who harvest our food, care for our children and elderly relatives, and perform many other jobs in our communities.

Migrant workers come to Canada with a hope of earning a better future for themselves and their families. They pay income taxes, and contribute to EI and CPP. But those coming through the TFWP – 91,211 people in 2015 – do not receive the same rights or protections as other workers in Canada.

Canada’s unions believe that no matter where you’re from, if you work in Canada, you should be treated fairly. In collaboration with migrant worker organizations, unions support programs that educate and empower migrant workers. They also advocate for policy change.

A fair future for migrant workers must include:

  • A pathway to permanent resident status for all migrant workers who want to stay in Canada;
  • Legislation to protect migrant workers’ human and labour rights, including the right to join a union;
  • A system to enforce those rights and prevent exploitation; and
  • Empowerment through access to justice, services and information.

To learn more about how unions support migrant workers’ rights, visit:

December 10th is International Human Rights Day.


Related Articles

Permanent Residence for “Out-of-Status” Construction Workers in the GTA

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is proud to be working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to implement a temporary initiative that will help 500 out-of-status construction workers find a pathway to permanent residence that will end the insecure nature of their employment and immigration status. Out-of-status workers are people who have come to Canada with valid temporary residence…
Read More

Global Day of Action for the Amazon

Today, on the Global Day of Action for the Amazon, Canadian labour calls on the Government of Canada to safeguard protections for the Amazon rainforest in its trade agreement with Brazil and the Mercosur countries. In its ongoing negotiations on the Mercosur trade deal with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, Canada must ensure the agreement contains enforceable provisions that uphold…
Read More

Canada’s unions applaud pilot project offering greater protection to migrant workers

Canada’s unions welcome a new three-year agri-food pilot program which will provide an additional 2,750 permanent residency opportunities for temporary foreign workers engaged in the sector, particularly in the meat industry. The proposed program, announced today by Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, is open to full-time non-seasonal agricultural migrant workers and will help give them a pathway to permanent residency. “The…
Read More